Olivia Colman is set to star in ‘Empire of Light’.

The 47-year-old actress has entered into discussions for a starring role in the upcoming romance movie, which is being directed by Sam Mendes for Searchlight Pictures.

Sam also wrote the film – which marks the first time he’s penned a screenplay without a co-writer – and the production is set around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.

The filmmaker is producing ‘Empire of Light’ with Pippa Harris through his Neal Street Productions, and will reunite with cinematographer Roger Deakins on the production, which is aiming for a release in late 2022.

In a statement, Sam said: “I have long been an admirer of Searchlight and the dynamic way they have produced and released some of my favourite theatrical releases of recent years. This project is very close to my heart, and I couldn’t be more delighted that it has found its ideal home.”

The project will be overseen at Searchlight by presidents of production, film and television, Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, as well as head of development and production at Searchlight Pictures UK, Katie Goodson-Thomas.

Matthew and David said in a statement: “Sam has written an exquisite cinematic drama that captured our hearts from page one. He is a masterful filmmaker, and we look forward to working with him, Pippa, and Roger and to reunite with the great Olivia on this truly special film.”

As of the time of writing, there are no other casting announcements for the production.